Sunday, December 1, 2013

Goodbye IHES

Thursday, September 5, 2013

After 100+ years, IHES to vanish

Immaculate Heart Elementary School closed its doors for good in 2006. And now years later, as the building sits dilapidated and decaying, it will soon vanish from the heart of Girardville, PA.. And gone with it the memories of countless children who called it their home for the most formative years of their lives...
Sr Monica where are you now!?
Thais! Save us!
Mrs. O'Connor.... please no!

John Usalis from the POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN wrote in a page 1 lead today that the building will be razed 'quickly' by Northeast Industrial Corp from Shamokin, PA.. It is going to cost $53,500 to do it..

According to Matt Kerr, our friendly voice from the Allentown Diocese (Cardinal Brennan Chargers should know his name well), the building is in disrepair.. a roof is leaking.. the sidewalk is crumbling.. and if you look close as you zoom by the building, the area where the wall seems to be caving is was Mr. Schappel's former 7th grade classroom.. may God rest his soul.

And may God rest the soul of the former IHES...

It was perhaps the happiest school I ever attended. I switched from Holy Spirit in Mt Carmel during the 6th grade, and arrived in Girardville to meet friends who lasted so far for a lifetime.. (Funny enough, Holy Spirit, IHES, and CB are all closed.. am I the curse??) 

And what does the friendly Father Connelly want to do? He wants a parish hall. But he is realistic, I suppose, telling Usalis that 'more realistically, it will be a parking lot' ...

Great. Another parking lot.. another area of nothing. Another school gone, and the death of Catholic education in the coal region only amplifies by the crumbling infrastructure of a once beautiful school...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let us never forget what happened in 2007

Memories fade .. events become fuzzy. Cardinal Brennan's past is now long gone. From nuns who'd walk the dark halls at night long ago to the students who'd fight to stay away until Friday, it's all history now.

No matter how much time rolls on, we need to keep a memory alive. A spirit of Cardinal Brennan was always palpable. To a degree it still is.

And six years ago, someone tried to blow that flame out. Did it work? Only you know that.

Here's what many of us were talking and thinking about in April, 2007: Families scrambling to find new schools.

Most of those folks who had to start in new places are graduated and gone from the schools they picked. They're becoming doctors and nurses, truck drivers and bartenders, and Marines and Navy Seals.

Did you keep the memory alive?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A flashback: Cardinal Brennan closes

It was March of 2007 when this site first  broke news that Cardinal Brennan had closed it's doors. Here is how we reported it then..

> Cardinal Brennan shutting down..> A very reliable source informs the Bell Tower Blog that after all the debate, Cardinal Brennan will be no more. Teachers are reportedly crying in hallways.. children shocked at the news that everyone knew was coming. It was just a matter of time from the beginning... > More as it develops. But now, March 23, 2007: The beginning of the end of Cardinal Brennan.> More coming as I learn information..
Sometimes the emotions show themselves ... as strong as they were in 2007.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

McAdoo Catholic Elementary fighting to stay open

Another school is about to become the victim of a closing.. Parents and students from McAdoo Catholic Elementary School are fighting to keep doors open..
The school was founded in the 1920s, it's currently teaching about 100 students from pre-school through eighth grade.. But not, the Allentown Diocese say that they must raise $130,000 in pledges in order to bridge the gap on the school's debt. The deadline is April 30.

This is how WNEP reports it: It sounds like the school is a nice little place--quite like others that have shut down in recent years. I hope that a miracle can happen at this one can at least stick around.. But it just seems like, as others, the writing is on the wall...
Same diocese. Same story.
Same outcome.?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Immaculate Heart Elementary School in Girardville may be demolished soon

Catholic education is dying a fast death in Northern Schuylkill County-- and many other places across the United States, too..

News now circulating now that Immaculate Heart in Girardville PA will be demolished at some point in the near future..

The Allentown Diocese said it would pay 50% to trash the former Catholic elementary school if St. Joseph's Church next door came up with the rest.. But the answer was no from the pastor, which we will keep nameless....Most know who he is.

But the Diocese isn't asking anymore.. it's telling.

The St. Joseph's bulletin admits that the Diocese is issuing almost an order than the school be taken down.. According to the bulletin, it will be discussed at a Parish Finance Council later this month..

Wonder if those ghosts that reportedly inhabit the building will leave peacefully?

Anyone who has seen the building over the past several months have witnessed a dilapidated and almost dangerous  structure.. Parts of the building are falling down, holes in the wall are appearing..  It is beyond wear and tear. It's erosion in the highest degree. The structure seems to be becoming dangerous to passersby..

For now.
Until it's gone.

Paging Fr. Montgello! Maybe it's time for a good old fashioned spaghetti dinner fundraiser.. just like in the 20th century....

Six long years later (already!).. Cardinal Brennan closed... and memories fading..

I took this photo today as I drove by my long gone high school..
With another cold winter ending, the rebirth of spring beginning, Cardinal Brennan sits there vacant.. On a hill in Fountain Springs, PA..

My alma mater now has simply become a relic.. A closed down school in the distance. Memories are fading.. Lives moved on. But what secrets, I often ponder, does that cold building still hold?
Do bells still ring, and do poets still sing? Does an echo survive of time gone? And does that elevator still work? Or.. did it ever?
It’s been 6 years since Cardinal Brennan began the process of shutting down.. That’s six graduating classes that never finished there and two that never even started.. Lives have been altered. But what did we benefit? Nothing.. But all adjusted to the new reality..
Last century, when times seemed simpler and I was a high school student, I went to this building.. Now it’s empty and desolate.. It’s simply a aging piece of brick and mortar. Rumor has it that it will soon be a complex of apartments, perhaps.. a residential area.. Not a school. Something else. Something wrong...Something it was never intended on being.
As for now, there is no classroom of children... no Lisa Ling from Channel One news in the morning.. no Frau.. nuns, priests, or mass.. no field day.. no spirit day.. Nothing. But I suspect, in the stillness of the night, the building’s spirits and past somehow lives. At least I’d like to believe that..